STEM: Branching Out Project Flourishing with Award Shortlisting

Dr Catherine Jewell and Dr James Stones | May 2018

We are delighted to announce that our "STEM: Branching Out" project has been shortlisted for the Heart of the City Award in this year’s Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards.  This is the second year in a row that our project has been shortlisted for this award.

Organised by the City of London, the Lord Mayor's Dragon Awards recognise excellence in companies' Corporate Community Involvement that benefits Greater London.  The Heart of the City Award in particular recognises businesses that have set up a strategic approach to community engagement for the first time in the last three years. 

Launched in January 2016, the Beck Greener "STEM: Branching Out" project is the cornerstone of the Community aspect of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.  The project involves a variety of activities aimed at promoting careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), particularly among young people from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in STEM, while also providing our staff with opportunities to develop their skills in areas such as communication, leadership, presentation, and project-management.

There are four main branches to the project.  Under the first branch, our STEM Ambassadors help teachers provide enrichment opportunities to inspire young people to engage more with STEM.  The second branch is a pro bono scheme in which we work with students to assess the patentability of school science and engineering projects and help them prepare and file GB patent applications for potential inventions.  The third branch involves providing insight opportunities within the office to students interested in learning more about the profession.  Under the final branch, we provide full time paid work experience for IT students on a one year industrial placement, as part of their degree.

Since the launch, we have reached over 2500 students from Years 3 to 12.  Most of the students have minority ethnic heritage and/or do not speak English as their first language.  In addition, the proportion of the students that are entitled to claim free schools meals is well above national average.

The impact of the project to date has been fantastic.  For example, we have observed a 90% increase in the total number of students who would consider a career in STEM following engagement with our STEM Ambassadors, including a 100% increase in the number of female students.

The Partner at Beck Greener responsible for CSR, Dr James Stones, said:

We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for a Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award for the second year in a row.  These prestigious Awards continue to be a fantastic way to promote community engagement in London and we are thrilled that all of the hard work that has gone into developing our "STEM: Branching Out" project over the last 12 months has been recognised in this way.

The awards ceremony for the Lord Mayor's Dragon Awards will be held on 25 September at the Mansion House, London.

For more information about the "STEM: Branching Out" project itself, please follow this link.

For more information about the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, please follow this link.